TEL AVIV – According to German and Israeli officials, Germany cancelled an upcoming summit between its government and Israel’s, reportedly as a result of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s growing frustration with settlement activity, meaning Israel Jewish homes in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
A spokesperson for the German government said the May 10 summit, which would include a meeting between Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, willnu be “postponed” due to scheduling conflicts, a statement that was later confirmed by Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nachshon.
However, German and Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to the news media in Israel, said Merkel was dismayed by the Regulation Law passed in the Knesset last week legalizing thousands of Israeli homes built on private Palestinian land.
In the wake of the bill, the foreign ministry said many Germans who usually “stand firmly by Israel’s side in a spirit of heartfelt solidarity are disappointed.”
“The confidence we had in the Israeli government’s commitment to the two-state solution has been profoundly shaken,” a statement said.
According to Haaretz, nixing the summit is one of a number of diplomatic measures Germany intends to take in response to the increase in settlement activity.
“Our relations have been completely pared back,” one senior German official said. “We have practically given up on making progress in the current environment.”
As yet, Merkel has not yet commented publicly on the Regulation Law. The vote, which passed 60-52, was condemned by the United Nations, the European Union, Britain, France and the Palestinian Authority. The White House did not join the condemnation but has said that the construction of new settlements “may not be helpful” to a future peace process.